Written By the Sam's Clan Staff
85% of the natural gas used in America comes from domestic sources. In fact, America has as much proven reserve of natural gas as Saudi Arabia has of oil. It will take a concerted effort amongst consumers and energy producers to build and maintain the infrastructure that will be needed to make America truly energy independent. There are about 110,000 natural gas vehicles on U.S. roads today and more than 1,100 natural gas fueling stations. Legislation now under consideration in Congress would provide tax credits for the purchase of natural gas for vehicles. In addition, companies that invest in natural gas refueling infrastructure would get up to $100,000 per station.
Natural gas vehicles outperform conventional fuels with a significantly higher octane rating, better fuel efficiency, and lower operating costs. There is also a dramatic reduction in emissions from natural gas. Converting just one trash truck from diesel to natural gas is the pollution reduction equivalent of taking 325 cars off the road.
Natural gas is the only fuel alternative that can power heavy-duty trucks and buses, amongst the busiest vehicles on the road today. By focusing on large public and private fleets, America can ease its dependence on foreign oil, dramatically reduce harmful emissions into our air, and create clean energy jobs here at home.
Natural gas jobs support nearly 3 million Americans, with 622,000 in direct employment. The industry creates $385 billion in economic activity, including $181 billion in labor income. When it comes to the environment, natural gas power plants emit about half the CO2 of their coal counterparts. But that's just the beginning of this clean energy story. Natural gas also has 80% fewer NOx emissions, and virtually no sulfur dioxide, mercury or particulate pollution that foul our air.
Forget hybrids and electric plugins, natural gas cars may be the wave of the future. The Honda Civic GX which retails for only $26,240 has an internal combustion engine but doesn’t run at all on gasoline. Instead, it burns compressed natural gas (CNG), which is not only domestically produced, but better for the environment, and costs less than a dollar in some states (around $2 in most). Plus, if you have a natural gas line in your house, you can get a pump installed, and fill-r-up right in your garage! Although Honda is currently the only producer of these vehicles, and you probably won’t find one at your local dealership, we have a feeling these cars will start to gain momentum.
Some source material and statistics courtesy of the American Natural Gas Alliance
The Honda Civic GX Runs on Compressed Natural Gas